Advocacy allows us to protect our profession as well as the patients we serve.
I realized the importance of physical therapy advocacy early on during my time as a student. I learned that key decisions were being made every day in our state and federal capitals, some of which directly impact the interactions that I will have with future patients and healthcare providers.
For this reason, I believe that we cannot sit by idly and let decisions be made on our behalf. We must ensure that we adequately educate – not only legislators but the general public as well – about how physical therapy can improve health.
Advocacy aligns our components and resources around a shared vision – a profession and a workforce that promotes quality-of-life through healthier movement.
PT-Political Action Committee
With the help of some colleagues and a drone, I created this spoken word video to ignite awareness in the PT-PAC, which garnered over 1,000 views in two weeks.
The video was released during the 2016 Flash Action Strategy, which raised almost $8,000 in donations for the PAC.
PT-PAC donations are crucial to ensure that our voice is heard on Capitol Hill.
National Advocacy Dinners
From 2016 to 2017, I served two year-long terms on the Professional Advocacy Project Committee within the APTA Student Assembly.
A key objective for our committee was to expand the reach of the National Advocacy Dinners, an event that brings advocacy discussion directly to students and faculty.
I planned and executed three Dinners in Southern California from 2016 to 2018 and saw tremendous growth not only in students reached but in the amount of engagement from students during the Q & A.
Students from USC, Cal State Long Beach, Chapman, Western, and West Coast gathered to discuss state or federal issues relevant to physical therapy practice.
I created and presented Introduction Slides and moderated the Q & A Panel Presentation.
The number of host cities doubled each year that I served on the committee, from 5 host cities in 2015 to 24 cities in 2017.
Yellow = 2015 host cities (5)
Red = 2016 host cities (12)
Blue = 2017 host cities (24)
In 2017, a group of classmates and I paid a visit to the office of Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA 30th District) to discuss the Medicare Therapy Cap repeal, the opioid epidemic (#ChoosePT), and access to PT in underserved areas.
APTA House of Delegates, 2016
Attending the APTA House of Delegates Meeting as a Student Delegate offered a unique glimpse into the ongoing evolution of our national association as it navigates our profession through this ever-changing phase of healthcare. With the CA delegation, I took part in tactful collaboration among a diverse delegation operating under the same vision and guiding principles. I saw firsthand the translation of ideas into action, as well as the breadth of emerging opportunities for growth of our profession.